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What? A bottle of Macallan 1926 whisky just shattered records at auction, going for a staggering £2.1 million or $2.7 Million at Sotheby’s in London. The anticipated price range had been expected to raise $934,275 and $1.49 million but surpassed estimates to fetch a whopping $2.7 million, more than double its estimated price, setting a new record for any spirit or wine sold at auction. This bottle was a part of an ultra-exclusive collection, comprising only 40 bottles that underwent a remarkable 60 years of aging in sherry casks. This extended aging period makes it the oldest vintage ever produced by Macallan.
Each bottle holds a unique allure due to its rarity and exceptional maturation process, contributing to its astronomical value and the fascination it ignites among whisky collectors and enthusiasts worldwide. Interestingly, a Macallan 1926 bottle previously held the record in 2019 when it was sold for £1.5 million at Sotheby’s as well.
According to AFP, Jonny Fowle, the head of whisky at Sotheby’s, even had the rare opportunity to sample this valuable dram before the sale.
What’s special about it?
The saga of the Macallan 1926 continues to captivate the whisky world with its exclusivity and allure. Sotheby’s head of whisky, Jonny Fowle, had the rare opportunity to savor a tiny drop of this prized dram before its recent sale. Describing it as exceptionally rich with abundant dried fruit, spice, and a strong wood influence, he stressed the weightiness and complexity of this revered whisky.
“I tasted a tiny drop – a tiny drop – of this. It’s very rich, it’s got a lot of dried fruit as you would expect, a lot of spice, a lot of wood,” Fowle said. Crafted through a 60-year maturation in dark oak sherry casks, only 40 bottles were produced in 1986, some reserved for The Macallan’s top clients. The distillery’s home lies in Moray, northern Scotland, adding to the mystique of this iconic spirit.
Fowle noted that the Macallan 1926 is a dream for auctioneers and collectors alike, underscoring its desirability. What makes these bottles even more extraordinary is their unique labels. Among the 40 bottles, two lacked labels, while around 14 bore the Fine and Rare labels, and a dozen were graced with labels by renowned pop artist Sir Peter Blake.
The record-breaking streak between 2018 and 2019 was fueled by variations like Sir Peter Blake, Michael Dillon, and Fine and Rare. This recent record-breaker comes from the subset of 12 bottles adorned with labels by Italian painter Valerio Adami in 1993. The mystery surrounding these bottles adds to their allure. Reports suggest only one has been opened and enjoyed, one was reportedly destroyed during the 2011 Japanese earthquake, and another remains unaccounted for.